“And if I make you happy I don’t need to do more.”
–Carole King, “Natural Woman”
I’m a busybody at heart. Although I don’t think this side of myself reared its ugly head until after college graduation, when I had more free time, it’s in full force now.
To someone with anxiety and thoughts that she may not want to ponder, free time can be disarming. It isn’t so much about structure as just having something to work on that I have the emotional energy to delve into: my blog, a craft, reading, planning endless road trips that we may or may not take. I keep myself busy. Just ask Sam.
But what is it all really amounting to? I can’t help but to acknowledge to myself that my most important job is being there for Sam physically, emotionally, and socially.
Just like Carol King cooed, if I can do that one thing right, I don’t need to do more, have more, be more.
After caring for Sam for a full three years, I recognize that caregiving is so much more than providing for his physical needs. Sam’s emotional needs can be just as demanding much of the time. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you. The emotional vulnerability of both Sam and me is great and can fall by the wayside in deference to exhaustion and just not wanting to think about it.
I have to remind myself that grief is so enervating. And my arm becomes tired from this long goodbye. So, I try to be gentle with myself when it comes to my roles as caregiver and wife. As much as I want to do everything and be everything for Sam, I can’t.
Mother Teresa wrote, “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do little things with great love.”
So, let me do this one little thing with as much love anyone has ever had for the person she loves the most in the world.